NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – It’s been a while since the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk has welcomed a baby rhino, in part because it takes quite a while for a rhino to be born.
Did you know that the gestation period for rhinos is around 16 months? The only animals with longer gestation periods are elephants, which can carry a fetus for as long as two years!
On Saturday, Oct. 14, the Virginia Zoo confirmed it has another rhino baby on the way and said, while they don’t know an exact date, they are expecting the birth to happen in the next few weeks.
When mom Zina was last pregnant, she carried the baby for over 500 days. The zoo auctioned the naming rights for the baby to raise funds for rhino conservation. The 125-pound male calf, born July 11, 2021, was named Mosi. He was the first Southern white rhinoceros species born at the Virginia Zoo and his mom’s first calf.
Will Mosi soon have a brother or a sister? We’ll have to wait to see.
Fun facts from the Virginia Zoo about rhino calves:
- Calves are weaned at about two and a half years but may remain with the mother up for two to three years until the next calf is born.
- Rhinos are considered grown when they are five to seven years, for females, and seven to ten years, for males.
- The baby’s horns — which are made of keratin, not bone — will begin growing in a few months, but it will take years before they look full-grown.
- Rhinos are not born with teeth, they typically start to erupt at 22-42 days. Adult teeth begin to appear at 3-4 years of age.